Life in the House Lights: The Pollywog Project
Special Guest Post by Arian Murati
Check out Arian's current band Pushing Mongo and download their latest EP Nature vs. Nurture. Or read more posts by Arian.
The year is 2005. The band is called Pollywog. The venue is in Montclair, NJ. We were called up to play at the last minute, because another band had dropped. (Note to bands, if you drop out of a show at the last minute, don't expect to ever play there again.) Now, I've seen some disgusting venues over the past 7 or so years, but this was putrid. The bathroom door was hanging by its last hinge. I had to hold it closed with one hand, and...well, myself, with the other. Of course there was urine all over the floor and "fuck you" on the wall, what kind of cliché rock venue would it be otherwise? Anyway, before the show, my singer went outside to have a cigarette, and I was inside with a friend. Out of what seemed to be thin air, a man with a Black Flag tattoo, no shirt, and a handheld camcorder came over to us and asked, "Hey, you guys are 18 right?" It was fairly obvious that I wasn't, but I said yes anyway. He clearly didn't care. He turned on his camera and turned it to us. " I run a small website when I'm not on tour" he says to us. We start watching the tiny screen, only to see a young woman receiving, um, a money shot is what I think they call it in the biz. He turned the camera off, and just walked off, as if he does this everywhere he goes, which actually wouldn't surprise me.
My singer came back inside, I told him about the whole ordeal, and his first words were, "Yeah, I already saw that. He was just outside." So that proved my point, he really did just go around showing everyone. You just get used to meeting these kinds of people after a few years of shows. Eventually, you just tune them out and go about your own business. The show itself was actually pretty good, we played a solid set, and the crowd was digging it. Still, that particular band would see its demise. The others were getting too into the Sex Pistols, and I was much more interested in Pearl Jam. We actually played that venue again about a week before the band officially went its separate ways. We arrived at the place, only to be greeted with a sign on the door that said, "Closed due to water damage". Really? A place that attracted drug dealers, amateur pornographers, and sleazy punk bands closed because of water damage? I went home and checked my email, and saw that they emailed me a few days prior to that night, and said that the show was canceled. The others were already furious, so I didn't tell them that I didn't check my mail. I just sided with them and pretended to be angry that they didn't compensate us for it.
So, this comes to the lesson of the day: Professionalism. Always show up to the shows you promised to play. I know this sounds like common sense, but you'd be surprised how many bands think that they can just cancel the day before and expect to play the next week. The venue loses money, the promoter won't book you, and there is always another band looking to take your spot. Sell your ticket minimum, don't throw your cigarette butts on the promoter's car (whoops), and always, ALWAYS be courteous. I don't care how "Br00tal" your band is, if you're not nice when booking a show, say goodbye to getting the empty slot.
Some of the commenters from the last post wanted to know where I am playing next:
I am playing a festival in Nyack, NY on August 9th with Big D and the Kids Table, The Number 12 Looks Like You, and many more acts. Tickets are available at inacanproductions.com, or through myself. You can find more information on www.myspace.com/pushingmongo.
Next week: Going to big shows, dealing with concert security (No PCP in the venue? What?!), and how to not get your ass kicked for hitting on the wrong person's girlfriend.